Have you ever thought about the fact that “branded” products can be sold for much more than products with comparable functionality that are generic? This is the magic of branding. People grow to know and trust a certain brand and become loyal to it when it delivers what it promises. Such promises could include a long-lasting product and that would be one that makes the consumer feel accepted in their everyday lives, or makes them feel pampered and spoiled. Everything from the name of the company, logo and packaging are known as brand development. This can determine the success of a product on top of its actual ability to perform what it promises to deliver.
The reason why large businesses spend so much on brand development and recognition is that when people debate with themselves over which comparable product to buy, they will undoubtedly choose the one with the name they recognize. Many large corporations try to expand into different markets. If Nike started making breakfast cereal, you would probably try it because you know the name and you know they produce great sporting equipment. While there is absolutely no connection between sporting equipment and cereal, the connection that is made in the mind of the consumer is the ability of the brand to deliver high quality products, whether in the form of shoes and jerseys or cereal, it is inconsequential.
How does a small business owner respond to this, then? By emulating what you see the gurus doing, you can begin to build a name and a following for yourself. Of course you will not able to compete with powerhouses like this, at least not for many years of dedicated work, but you can gain loyal customers in your niche. Even if those who are loyal to you are local and it stays that way for a while, it is a definite start. The most important thing for you to remember with regards to brand development is to be consistent. Whatever you decide for a logo, moral standing and anything else must be reflected in every facet of your business.
The cost of brand development depends on the volume and placement of your target market. As a small business owner, your reach will not be as far as international businesses, so the expenditure will be less, but your return on the investment will be more moderate as well. Since your market is undoubtedly smaller, this gives you the opportunity to design a brand for yourself that is very personal to your clientele.